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An Indian reservation is an area of
land tenure In Common law#History, common law systems, land tenure is the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual, who is said to "hold" the land. It determines who can use land, for how long and under what conditions. Tenure may be based both ...
governed by a federally recognized Native American tribal nation under the
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), also known as Indian Affairs (IA), is a United States federal agency within the Department of the Interior. It is responsible for implementing federal laws and policies related to American Indians and A ...

U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
, rather than by the government of the state in which it is located. The 326 Indian reservations in the United States are associated with specific
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
nations, often on a one-to-one basis. Some of the country's 574
federally recognized tribes This is a list of federally recognized tribes in the contiguous United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, ...
govern more than one reservation, while some share reservations, and others have no reservation at all. In addition, because of past land allotments, leading to sales to non–Native Americans, some reservations are severely fragmented, with each piece of tribal, individual, and privately held land being a separate enclave. This jumble of private and public real estate creates significant administrative, political and legal difficulties. The collective geographical area of all reservations is , approximately the size of the state of
Idaho Idaho () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Idaho
. While most reservations are small compared to U.S. states, there are twelve Indian reservations larger than the state of
Rhode Island Rhode Island (, like ''road''), officially the State of Rhode Island, is a state in the New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as ...
. The largest reservation, the Navajo Nation Reservation, is similar in size to
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
. Reservations are unevenly distributed throughout the country; the majority are west of the Mississippi River and occupy lands that were first reserved by treaty or "
granted "Granted" is a song by American singer Josh Groban, It was released in early June 2018 along with a lyric video as the lead single on his album Bridges (Josh Groban album), ''Bridges''. Charts Weekly charts Year-end charts References

...
" from the public domain. Because recognized Native American nations possess limited
tribal sovereignty 300px, Map of the contiguous United States with reservation lands excluded as of 2003 Tribal sovereignty in the United States is the concept of the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the Uni ...
, laws on tribal lands vary from those of the surrounding area.Davies & Clow; Sutton 1991. For example, these laws can permit legal
casinosCasinos may refer to: * Casinos, Valencia Casinos is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national ...
on reservations located in states which do not allow gambling, attracting tourism. The tribal council, not the local government or the state or
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, ...
, generally has jurisdiction over the reservation. Different reservations have different systems of government, which may or may not replicate the forms of government found outside the reservation. Most Native American reservations were established by the federal government; a limited number, mainly in the East, owe their origin to state recognition. The term "reservation" is a legal designation. It comes from the conception of the Native American nations as independent sovereigns at the time the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Thus, early peace treaties (often signed under conditions of
duress Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. IntimidationIntimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that " ...
or fraud), in which Native American nations surrendered large portions of their land to the United States, designated parcels which the nations, as sovereigns, "
reserved Reserved is a Poland, Polish clothing store chain, part of LPP (company), LPP, which has more than 1,700 stores located in 20 countries. History The LPP company was established in 1989 and the first stores under the Reserved fashion brand were ...
" to themselves, and those parcels came to be called "reservations". The term remained in use after the federal government began to forcibly relocate nations to parcels of land to which they had no historical connection. Today a majority of American Indians and
Alaska Natives Alaska Natives or Alaskan Natives are indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific c ...
live somewhere other than the reservations, often in the larger western cities such as and
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. In 2012, there were over 2.5 million Native Americans, with 1 million living on reservations.


History


Colonial and early U.S. history

From the beginning of the
European colonization of the Americas Although the Norse had explored and colonized northeastern North America c. 1000 CE, the later and more well-known wave of European colonization of the Americas took place in the Americas The Americas (also collectively called Ameri ...
, Europeans often removed native peoples from lands they wished to occupy. The means varied, including treaties made under considerable duress, forceful ejection, and violence, and in a few cases voluntary moves based on mutual agreement. The removal caused many problems such as tribes losing means of livelihood by being subjected to a defined area, farmers having inadmissible land for agriculture, and hostility between tribes. The first reservation was established in
southern New Jersey South Jersey comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of New Jersey, between the lower Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean. The designation of southern New Jersey with a distinct toponymy, toponym is a colloquialism, colloquial one rat ...

southern New Jersey
on 29 August 1758. It was called Brotherton Indian Reservation and also ''Edgepillock'' or ''Edgepelick''. 7 November 2010 The area was 3284 acres. Today it is called Indian Mills in Shamong Township. In 1764 the "Plan for the Future Management of Indian Affairs" was proposed by the Board of Trade. Although never adopted formally, the plan established the imperial government's expectation that land would only be bought by colonial governments, not individuals, and that land would only be purchased at public meetings. Additionally, this plan dictated that the Indians would be properly consulted when ascertaining and defining the boundaries of colonial settlement.Remarks on the Plan for Regulating the Indian Trade, September 1766 – October 1766
''Founders Online''
The private contracts that once characterized the sale of Indian land to various individuals and groups—from farmers to towns—were replaced by
treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
between sovereigns. This protocol was adopted by the United States Government after the American Revolution. On 11 March 1824, founded the
Office of Indian Affairs The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), also known as Indian Affairs (IA), is a United States federal agency within the Department of the Interior The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department of the Fede ...

Office of Indian Affairs
(now the Bureau of Indian Affairs) as a division of the
United States Department of War The United States Department of War, also called the War Department (and occasionally War Office in the early years), was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army, al ...
(now the
United States Department of Defense The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity ...
), to solve the land problem with 38 treaties with American Indian tribes.


Letters from the Presidents of the United States on indigenous reservations (1825–1837)

Indian Treaties, and Laws and Regulations Relating to Indian Affairs (1825) was a document signed by President
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of ...

Andrew Jackson
in which he states that "we have placed the land reserves in a better state for the benefit of society" with approval of indigenous reservations prior to 1850. The letter is signed by
Isaac Shelby Isaac Shelby (December 11, 1750 – July 18, 1826) was the List of Governors of Kentucky, first and fifth Governor of Kentucky and served in the state legislatures of Virginia and North Carolina. He was also a soldier in Lord Dunmore's War, ...
and Jackson. It discusses several regulations regarding indigenous people of America and the approval of indigenous segregation and the reservation system. negotiated a treaty with the Saginaw Tribe of Chippewas in 1837 to build a lighthouse. The President of the United States of America was directly involved in the creation of new
treaties A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...

treaties
regarding Indian Reservations before 1850. Van Buren stated that indigenous reservations are "all their reserves of land in the state of Michigan, on the principle of said reserves being sold at the public land offices for their benefit and the actual proceeds being paid to them."Martin Van Buren, President of the United States of America, ”Treaties between the United States and the Saginaw tribe of Chippewas,” 1837. The agreement dictated that the indigenous tribe sell their land to build a lighthouse. A treaty signed by John Forsyth, the Secretary of State on behalf of Van Buren, also dictates where indigenous peoples must live in terms of the reservation system in America between the
Oneida People of New York (state), New York Image:Flag of the Oneida of the Thames First Nation.PNG, 325px, Flag of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation of Canada The Oneida (wikt:autonym, autonym: Onyota'a:ka, ''t ...
in 1838. This treaty allows the indigenous peoples five years on a specific reserve "the west shores of Saganaw bay". The creation of reservations for indigenous people of America could be as little as a five-year approval before 1850. Article two of the treaty claims "the reserves on the river Angrais and at Rifle river, of which said Indians are to have the usufruct and occupancy for five years." Indigenous people had restraints pushed on them by the five year allowance.


Early land sales in Virginia (1705–1713)

Scholarly author Buck Woodard used executive papers from Governor William H. Cabell in his article, "Indian Land sales and allotment in Antebellum Virginia" to discuss Indigenous reservations in America before 1705, specifically in Virginia.Buck Woodard, “Indian Land sales and allotment in Antebellum Virginia: trustees, tribal agency, and the Nottoway Reservation,” ''American Nineteenth Century History'' 17. no. 2 (2016): page number. 161-180. He claims "the colonial government again recognized the Nottoway's land rights by treaty in 1713, at the conclusion of the Tuscaro War." The indigenous peoples of America had land treaty agreements as early as 1713.


The beginning of the Indigenous Reservation System in America (1763–1834)

The American Indigenous Reservation system started with "the
Royal Proclamation of 1763 The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued by King George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of ...

Royal Proclamation of 1763
, where
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Great Britain
set aside an enormous resource for Indians in the territory of the present United States." The United States put forward another act when "Congress passed the
Indian Removal Act The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830, by United States President Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh preside ...
in 1830".James E Togerson "Indians against Immigrants: Old Rivals, New Rules: A Brief Review and Comparison of Indian Law in the Contiguous United States, Alaska, and Canada." ''American Indian Law Review'' 14, no. 1 (1988), 57–103. A third act pushed through was "the federal government relocated "portions of ‘Five Civilized Tribes' from the southeastern states in the Non-Intercourse Act of 1834." All three of these laws set into motion the Indigenous Reservation system in the United States of America, resulting in the forceful removal of Indigenous peoples into specific land Reservations.


Treaty between America and the Menominee Nation (1831)

Scholarly author James Oberly discusses "The Treaty of 1831 between the Menominee Nation and the United States"James Oberly, ““Decision on Duck Creek: Two Green Bay Reservations and Their Boundaries, 1816–1996,” ''American Indian Culture & Research Journal'' 24, no. 3 (2000): 39–76. in his article, "Decision on Duck Creek: Two Green Bay Reservations and Their Boundaries, 1816–1996", showing yet another treaty regarding Indigenous Reservations before 1850. There is a conflict between the Menomee Nation and the
State of Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a U.S. state, state in the Upper Midwest region of the United States, bordered by Minnesota to the west; Iowa to the southwest; Illinois to the south; Lake Michigan to the east; Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Michigan to the nor ...

State of Wisconsin
and "the 1831 Menomee Treaty … ran the boundary between the lands of the Oneida, known in the Treaty as the "New York Indians". This Treaty from 1831 is the cause of conflicts and is disputed because the land was good hunting grounds.


1834 Trade and Intercourse Act (1834)

The Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834 says "In the 1834 Indian Trade and Intercourse Act, the United States defined the boundaries of Indian County."William J Bauer, “The Rise and Fall of Indian Country, 1825–1855,” ''History: Reviews of New Books'' 36, no. 2 (Winter 2008): 50. Also, "For Unrau, Indigenous Country is less on Indigenous homeland and more a place where the U.S. removed Indians from east of the Mississippi River and applied unique laws." The United States of America applied laws on Indigenous Reservations depending on where they were located like the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and b ...

Mississippi River
. This act came too, because "the federal government began to compress Indigenous lands because it needed to send troops to Texas during the Mexican-American War and protect American immigration traveling to Oregon and California."William J Bauer, “The Rise and Fall of Indian Country, 1825–1855,” ''History: Reviews of New Books'' 36, no. 2 (Winter 2008): 51. The Federal Government of America had their own needs and desires for Indigenous Land Reservations. He says, "the reconnaissance of explorers and other American officials understood that Indigenous Country possessed good land, bountiful game, and potential mineral resources." The American Government claimed Indigenous land for their own benefits with these creations of Indigenous Land Reservations .


Indigenous Reservation System in Texas (1845)

States such as
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
had their own policy when it came to Indian Reservations in America before 1850. Scholarly author George D. Harmon discusses Texas' own reservation system which "Prior to 1845, Texas had inaugurated and pursued her own Indian Policy of the U.S."George D Harmon, "The United States Indian Policy in Texas, 1845–1860,” ''The Mississippi Valley Historical Review'' 17, no. 3 (1930): 379. Texas was one of the States before 1850 that chose to create their own reservation system as seen in Harmon's article, "The United States Indian Policy in Texas, 1845–1860." The State of "Texas had given only a few hundred acres of land in 1840, for the purpose of colonization". However, "In March 1847, … special agent as sentto Texas to manage the Indian affairs in the State until Congress should take some definite and final action." The United States of America allowed its states to make up their own treaties such as this one in Texas for the purpose of colonization.


Rise of Indian removal policy (1830–1868)

The passage of the
Indian Removal Act The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830, by United States President Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was an American lawyer, soldier, and statesman who served as the seventh preside ...
of 1830 marked the systematization of a U.S. federal government policy of forcibly moving Native populations away from European-populated areas. One example was the
Five Civilized Tribes The term "Five Civilized Tribes" derives from the colonial and early federal period in the history of the United States. It refers to five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole The Sem ...
, who were removed from their native lands in the southern United States and moved to modern-day
Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New ...
, in a mass migration that came to be known as the
Trail of Tears #REDIRECT Trail of Tears #REDIRECT Trail of Tears The Trail of Tears was part of a series of forced displacements of approximately 100,000 Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans between 1830 and 1850 by the Federal government o ...
. Some of the lands these tribes were given to inhabit following the removals eventually became Indian reservations. In 1851, the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
passed the
Indian Appropriations Act The Indian Appropriations Act is the name of several acts passed by the United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of th ...
which authorized the creation of Indian reservations in modern-day Oklahoma. Relations between settlers and natives had grown increasingly worse as the settlers encroached on territory and natural resources in the West.


Forced assimilation (1868–1887)

In 1868, President
Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; ; April 27, 1822July 23, 1885) was an American military leader who served as the 18th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and he ...

Ulysses S. Grant
pursued a "Peace Policy" as an attempt to avoid violence. The policy included a reorganization of the Indian Service, with the goal of relocating various tribes from their ancestral homes to parcels of lands established specifically for their inhabitation. The policy called for the replacement of government officials by religious men, nominated by churches, to oversee the Indian agencies on reservations in order to teach
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
to the native tribes. The
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...
were especially active in this policy on reservations. The policy was controversial from the start. Reservations were generally established by
executive order In the United States, an executive order is a directive Directive may refer to: * Directive (European Union), a legislative act of the European Union * Directive (programming), a computer language construct that specifies how a compiler shou ...
. In many cases, white settlers objected to the size of land parcels, which were subsequently reduced. A report submitted to Congress in 1868 found widespread corruption among the federal Native American agencies and generally poor conditions among the relocated tribes. Many tribes ignored the relocation orders at first and were forced onto their limited land parcels. Enforcement of the policy required the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
to restrict the movements of various tribes. The pursuit of tribes in order to force them back onto reservations led to a number of wars with Native Americans which included some massacres. The most well-known conflict was the Sioux War on the northern
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
, between 1876 and 1881, which included the
Battle of Little Bighorn The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians Plains Indians or Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies are the Native American tribe The term tribe is used in many different co ...
. Other famous wars in this regard included the
Nez Perce War The Nez Perce War was an armed conflict that pitted several bands of the Nez Perce tribe, Nez Perce tribe of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Native Americans and their allies, a small band of the ''Palus people, Palouse'' tribe led by Red Ec ...
. By the late 1870s, the policy established by President Grant was regarded as a failure, primarily because it had resulted in some of the bloodiest wars between Native Americans and the United States. By 1877, President began phasing out the policy, and by 1882 all religious organizations had relinquished their authority to the federal Indian agency.


Individualized reservations (1887–1934)

In 1887, Congress undertook a significant change in reservation policy by the passage of the
Dawes Act The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887) regulated land rights on tribal territories within the United States. Named after Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), ...
, or General Allotment (Severalty) Act. The act ended the general policy of granting land parcels to tribes as-a-whole by granting small parcels of land to individual tribe members. In some cases, for example, the
Umatilla Indian Reservation The Umatilla Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It was created by The Treaty of June 9, 1855 between the United States and members of the Walla, Cayuse, and Umatilla tribes. It lies in northe ...
, after the individual parcels were granted out of reservation land, the reservation area was reduced by giving the "excess land" to white settlers. The individual allotment policy continued until 1934 when it was terminated by the
Indian Reorganization Act The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of June 18, 1934, or the Wheeler–Howard Act, was U.S. federal legislation that dealt with the status of American Indians in the United States. It was the centerpiece of what has been often called the "Indian ...
.


Indian New Deal (1934–present)

The
Indian Reorganization Act The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of June 18, 1934, or the Wheeler–Howard Act, was U.S. federal legislation that dealt with the status of American Indians in the United States. It was the centerpiece of what has been often called the "Indian ...
of 1934, also known as the ''Howard-Wheeler Act'', was sometimes called the ''Indian New Deal'' and was initiated by
John CollierJohn Collier may refer to: Arts and entertainment *John Collier (caricaturist) (1708–1786), English caricaturist and satirical poet *John Payne Collier (1789–1883), English Shakespearian critic and forger *John Collier (painter) (1850–1934), ...
. It laid out new rights for Native Americans, reversed some of the earlier privatization of their common holdings, and encouraged
tribal sovereignty 300px, Map of the contiguous United States with reservation lands excluded as of 2003 Tribal sovereignty in the United States is the concept of the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the Uni ...
and land management by tribes. The act slowed the assignment of tribal lands to individual members and reduced the assignment of "extra" holdings to nonmembers. For the following 20 years, the U.S. government invested in infrastructure, health care, and education on the reservations. Likewise, over two million acres (8,000 km2) of land were returned to various tribes. Within a decade of Collier's retirement the government's position began to swing in the opposite direction. The new Indian Commissioners Myers and Emmons introduced the idea of the "withdrawal program" or "
termination Termination may refer to: Science *Termination (geomorphology), the period of time of relatively rapid change from cold, glacial conditions to warm interglacial condition *Termination factor, in genetics, part of the process of transcribing RNA ...
", which sought to end the government's responsibility and involvement with Indians and to force their assimilation. The Indians would lose their lands but were to be compensated, although many were not. Even though discontent and social rejection killed the idea before it was fully implemented, five tribes were terminated—the
Coushatta The Coushatta ( cku, Koasati, Kowassaati or Kowassa:ti) are a Muskogean-speaking Native Americans in the United States, Native American people now living primarily in the United States, U.S. states of Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. When first e ...
,
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,
Paiute Paiute (; also Piute) refers to three non-contiguous groups of indigenous peoples of the Great Basin. Although their languages are related within the Numic group of Uto-Aztecan languages, these three groups do not form a single set. The term "P ...
,
Menominee The Menominee (; also spelled Menomini, derived from the Ojibwe language word for "Wild Rice People"; known as ''Mamaceqtaw'', "the people", in the Menominee language) are a federally recognized nation of Native Americans in the United States, N ...
and Klamath—and 114 groups in California lost their federal recognition as tribes. Many individuals were also relocated to cities, but one-third returned to their tribal reservations in the decades that followed.


Land tenure and federal Indian law

With the establishment of reservations, tribal territories diminished to a fraction of original areas and indigenous customary practices of land tenure sustained only for a time, and not in every instance. Instead, the federal government established regulations that subordinated tribes to the authority, first, of the military, and then of the Bureau (Office) of Indian Affairs. Under federal law, the government patented reservations to tribes, which became legal entities that at later times have operated in a corporate manner. Tribal tenure identifies jurisdiction over
land-use planning Land use planning is the process of regulating the use of land by a central authority. Usually, this is done to promote more desirable social and environmental outcomes as well as a more efficient use of resources. More specifically, the goals ...
and zoning, negotiating (with the close participation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs) leases for timber harvesting and mining.Tiller (1996) Tribes generally have authority over other forms of economic development such as ranching, agriculture, tourism, and casinos. Tribes hire both members, other Indians and non-Indians in varying capacities; they may run tribal stores, gas stations, and develop museums (e.g., there is a gas station and general store at Fort Hall Indian Reservation,
Idaho Idaho () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Idaho
, and a museum at Foxwoods, on the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation in
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
). Tribal members may utilize a number of resources held in tribal tenures such as grazing range and some cultivable lands. They may also construct homes on tribally held lands. As such, members are tenants-in-common, which may be likened to communal tenure. Even if some of this pattern emanates from pre-reservation tribal customs, generally the tribe has the authority to modify tenant-in-common practices. With the General Allotment Act (Dawes), 1887, the government sought to individualize tribal lands by authorizing allotments held in individual tenure. Generally, the allocation process led to grouping family holdings and, in some cases, this sustained pre-reservation clan or other patterns. There had been a few allotment programs ahead of the Dawes Act. However, the vast fragmentation of reservations occurred from the enactment of this act up to 1934, when the Indian Reorganization Act was passed. However, Congress authorized some allotment programs in the ensuing years, such as on the Palm Springs/Agua Caliente Indian Reservation in California. Allotment set in motion a number of circumstances: * individuals could sell (alienate) the allotment – under the Dawes Act, it was not to happen until after twenty-five years. * individual allottees who would die intestate would encumber the land under prevailing state devisement laws, leading to complex patterns of heirship. Congress has attempted to mollify the impact of heirship by granting tribes the capacity to acquire fragmented allotments owing to heirship by financial grants. Tribes may also include such parcels in long-range land use planning. * With alienation to non-Indians, their increased presence on numerous reservations has changed the demography of Indian Country. One of many implications of this fact is that tribes can not always effectively embrace the total management of a reservation, for non-Indian owners and users of allotted lands contend that tribes have no authority over lands that fall within the tax and law-and-order jurisdiction of local government. The demographic factor, coupled with landownership data, led, for example, to litigation between the Devils Lake Sioux and the State of North Dakota, where non-Indians owned more acreage than tribal members even though more Native Americans resided on the reservation than non-Indians. The court decision turned, in part, on the perception of ''Indian character'', contending that the tribe did not have jurisdiction over the alienated allotments. In a number of instances—e.g., the Yakama Indian Reservation—tribes have identified ''open'' and ''closed'' areas within reservations. One finds the majority of non-Indian landownership and residence in the open areas and, contrariwise, closed areas represent exclusive tribal residence and related conditions.
Indian Country Indian country is any of the many self-governing Native American/American Indian communities throughout the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Conti ...
today consists of tripartite government—i. e., federal, state and/or local, and tribal. Where state and local governments may exert some, but limited, law-and-order authority, tribal sovereignty is diminished. This situation prevails in connection with Indian gaming because federal legislation makes the state a party to any contractual or
statutory A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) ...
agreement. Finally, other-occupancy on reservations maybe by virtue of tribal or individual tenure. There are many churches on reservations; most would occupy tribal land by consent of the federal government or the tribe. BIA agency offices, hospitals, schools, and other facilities usually occupy residual federal parcels within reservations. Many reservations include one or more sections (about 640 acres) of school lands, but those lands typically remain part of the reservation (e.g., Enabling Act of 1910 at Section 20). As a general practice, such lands may sit idle or be grazed by tribal ranchers.


Disputes over land sovereignty

When the Europeans discovered the New World, the American colonial government determined a precedent of establishing the land sovereignty of North America through treaties between countries. This precedent was upheld by the United States government. As a result, most Native American land was "purchased" by the United States government, a portion of which was designated to remain under Native sovereignty. The United States government and Native Peoples do not always agree on how land should be governed, which has resulted in a series of disputes over sovereignty.


Black Hills land dispute

The Federal Government and The Lakota Sioux tribe members have been involved in sorting out a legal claim for the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
since signing the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty, which created what is known today as the Great Sioux Nation covering the Black Hills and nearly half of western South Dakota. This treaty was acknowledged and respected until 1874 when General George Custer discovered gold, sending a wave of settlers into the area and leading to the realization of the value of the land from United States President Grant. President Grant used tactical military force to remove the Sioux from the land and assisted in the development of the Congressional appropriations bill for Indian Services in 1876, a "starve or sell" treaty signed by only 10% of the 75% tribal men required based on specifications from the Fort Laramie Treaty that relinquished the Sioux's rights to the Black Hills. Following this treaty, the Agreement of 1877 was passed by Congress to remove the Sioux from the Black Hills, stating that the land was purchased from the Sioux despite the insufficient number of signatures, the lack of transaction records, and the tribe's claim that the land was never for sale. The Black Hills are sacred to the Sioux as a place central to their spirituality and identity, and contest of ownership of the land has been pressured in the courts by the Sioux Nation since they were allowed legal avenue in 1920. Beginning in 1923, the Sioux made a legal claim that their relinquishment from the Black Hills was illegal under the Fifth Amendment, and no amount of money can make up for the loss of their sacred land. This claim went all the way up to the Supreme Court '' United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians'' case in 1979 after being revived by Congress, and the Sioux were awarded over $100 million as they ruled that the seizure of the Black Hills was in fact illegal. The Sioux have continually rejected the money, and since then the award has been accruing interest in trust accounts and amounts to about $1 billion in 2015. During President Barack Obama's campaign he made indications that the case of the Black Hills was going to be solved with innovative solutions and consultation, but this was questioned when White House Counsel Leonard Garment sent a note to The Ogala people saying, "The days of treaty-making with the American Indians ended in 1871; ...only Congress can rescind or change in any way statutes enacted since 1871." The He Sapa Reparations Alliance was established after Obama's inauguration to educate the Sioux people and propose a bill to Congress that would allocate 1.3 million acres of federal land within the Black Hills to the tribe. To this day, the dispute of the Black Hills is ongoing with the trust estimated to be worth nearly $1.3 billion and sources believe principles of restorative justice may be the best solution to addressing this century-old dispute.


Iroquois land claims in Upstate New York

While the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution, addressed land sovereignty disputes between the British Crown and the colonies, it neglected to settle hostilities between indigenous people—specifically those who fought on the side of the British, as four of the members of the Haudenosaunee did—and colonists. In October 1784 the newly formed United States government facilitated negotiations with representatives from the Six Nations in Fort Stanwix, New York.Treaty and Land Transaction of 1784
''National Park Service''
The treaty produced in 1784 resulted in Indians giving up their territory within the Ohio River Valley and the U.S. guaranteeing the Haudenosaunee six million acres—about half of what is present-day New York—as permanent homelands. Unenthusiastic about the treaty's conditions, the state of New York secured a series of twenty-six "leases", many of them lasting 999 years on all native territories within its boundaries. Led to believe that they had already lost their land to the New York Genesee Company, the Haudenosaunee agreed to land leasing which was presented by New York Governor George Clinton as a means by which the indigenous could maintain sovereignty over their land. On 28 August 1788, the
Oneidas of New York (state), New York Image:Flag of the Oneida of the Thames First Nation.PNG, 325px, Flag of the Oneida Nation of the Thames, Oneida Nation of the Thames First Nation of Canada The Oneida (wikt:autonym, autonym: Onyota'a:ka, ''t ...
leased five million acres to the state in exchange for $2,000 in cash, $2,000 in clothing, $1,000 in provisions and $600 annual rent. The other two tribes followed with similar arrangements. The
Holland Land Company File:Holland Land Company map-circ 1821.JPG, 300px, Another Map of the Holland Purchase showing more detail (source: Holland Land Company Map - circa. 1821) The Holland Land Company was an unincorporated syndicate of thirteen Dutch investors from ...
gained control over all but ten acres of the native land leased to the state on 15 September 1797. These 397 square miles were subsequently parceled out and subleased to whites, allegedly ending the native title to land. Despite Iroquois protests, federal authorities did virtually nothing to correct the injustice. Certain of losing all of their lands, in 1831 most of the Oneidas asked that what was left of their holdings be exchanged for 500,000 acres purchased from the
Menominee The Menominee (; also spelled Menomini, derived from the Ojibwe language word for "Wild Rice People"; known as ''Mamaceqtaw'', "the people", in the Menominee language) are a federally recognized nation of Native Americans in the United States, N ...
s in Wisconsin. President Andrew Jackson, committed to
Indian Removal #REDIRECT Indian removal#REDIRECT Indian removal Indian removal is the former United States government policy of forced displacement of self-governing tribes of Native Americans from their ancestral homelands in the eastern United States to l ...
west of the Mississippi, agreed. The Treaty of Buffalo Creek signed on 15 January 1838, directly ceded 102,069 acres of
Seneca Seneca may refer to: People and language *Seneca (name), a list of people with either the given name or surname *Seneca the Elder, a Roman rhetorician, writer and father of the stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger *Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoi ...
land to the Ogden company for $202,000, a sum that was divided evenly between the government—to hold in trust for Indians—and non-Indian individuals who wanted to buy and improve the plots. All that was left of the Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga and Tuscarora holding was extinguished at a total cost of $400,000 to Ogden. After Indian complaints, a second Treaty of Buffalo was written in 1842 in attempts to mediate tension. Under this treaty the Haudenosaunee were given the right to reside in New York and small areas of reservations were restored by the U.S. government. These agreements were largely ineffective in protecting Native American land. By 1889 eighty percent of all Iroquois reservation land in New York was leased by non-Haudenosaunees.


Navajo–Hopi land dispute

The modern-day Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations are located in Northern Arizona, near the
Four Corners boy on horseback in Monument Valley Monument Valley ( nv, Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii, , meaning ''valley of the rocks'') is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching above the va ...

Four Corners
area. The Hopi reservation is 2,531.773 square miles within Arizona and lies surrounded by the greater Navajo reservation which spans 27,413 square miles and extends slightly into the states of New Mexico and Utah. The Hopi, also known as the Pueblo people, made many spiritually motivated migrations throughout the Southwest before settling in present-day Northern Arizona. The Navajo people also migrated throughout western North America following spiritual commands before settling near the Grand Canyon area. The two tribes peacefully coexisted and even traded and exchanged ideas with each other. However, their way of life was threatened when the "New people", what the Navajo called white settlers, began executing Natives across the continent and claiming their land, as a result of Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act. War ensued between the Navajo people, who call themselves the Diné, and new Americans. The end result was the Long Walk in the early 1860s in which the entire tribe was forced to walk roughly 400 miles from Fort Canby (present-day Window Rock, Arizona) to Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. This march is similar to the well known Cherokee "Trail of Tears" and like it, many of the tribe did not survive the trek. The roughly 11,000 tribe members were imprisoned here in what the United States government deemed an experimental Indian reservation that failed because it became too expensive, there were too many people to feed, and they were continuously raided by other native tribes. Consequently, in 1868, the Navajo were allowed to return to their homeland after signing the Treaty of Bosque Redondo. The treaty officially established the "Navajo Indian Reservation" in Northern Arizona. The term reservation is one that creates territorialities or claims on places. This treaty gave them the right to the land and semi-autonomous governance of it. The Hopi reservation, on the other hand, was created through an executive order by President Arthur in 1882. A few years after the two reservations were established, the Dawes Allotment Act was passed under which communal tribal land was divvied up and allocated to each household in an attempt to enforce European-American farming styles where each family owns and works their own plot of land. This was a further act of enclosure by the U.S. government. Each family received 640 acres or less and the remaining land was deemed "surplus" because it was more than the tribes needed. This "surplus" land was then made available for purchase by American citizens. The land designated to the Navajo and Hopi reservation was originally considered barren and unproductive by white settlers until 1921 when prospectors scoured the land for oil. The mining companies pressured the U.S. government to set up Native American councils on the reservations so that they could agree to contracts, specifically leases, in the name of the tribe. During World War II, uranium was mined on the Diné and Hopi reservations. The dangers of radiation exposure were not adequately explained to the native people, who made up almost all the workforce of these mines, and lived in their immediate adjacency. As a result, some residents who lived near the uranium projects used the quarried rock from the mines to build their houses, these materials were radioactive and had detrimental health effects on the residents, including increased rates of kidney failure and cancer. During extraction some native children would play in large water pools which were heavily contaminated with uranium created by mining activities. The companies also failed to properly dispose of the
radioactive waste Radioactive waste is a type of hazardous waste Hazardous waste is waste Waste (or wastes) are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-pro ...
which did and will continue to pollute the environment, including the natives' water sources. Many years later, these same men who worked the mines died from lung cancer, and their families received no form of financial compensation. In 1979, the
Church Rock uranium mill spill The Church Rock uranium mill spill occurred in the U.S. state of New Mexico on July 16, 1979, when United Nuclear Corporation's tailings disposal pond at its Uranium mining#Heap leaching, uranium mill in Church Rock, New Mexico, Church Rock breache ...
was the largest release of radioactive waste in U.S. history. The spill contaminated the Puerco River with 1,000 tons of solid radioactive waste and 93 million gallons of acidic, radioactive tailings solution which flowed downstream into the Navajo Nation. The Navajos used the water from this river for irrigation and their livestock but were not immediately informed about the contamination and its danger. After the war ended, the American population boomed and energy demands soared. The utility companies needed a new source of power so they began the construction of coal-fired power plants. They placed these power plants in the four corners region. In the 1960s, John Boyden, an attorney working for both Peabody Coal and the Hopi tribe, the nation's largest coal producer, managed to gain rights to the Hopi land, including Black Mesa, a sacred location to both tribes which lay partially within the Joint Use Area of both tribes. This case is an example of
environmental racism Environmental racism is a concept in the environmental justice movement, which developed in the United States throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The term is used to describe environmental injustice that occurs within a racialized context both in p ...
and injustice, per the principles established by the Participants of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, because the Navajo and Hopi people, which are communities of color, low income, and political alienation, were disproportionately affected by the proximity and the resulting pollution of these power plants which disregard their right to clean air, their land was degraded, and because the related public policies are not based on mutual respect of all people. The mining companies, however, wanted more land but the joint ownership of the land made negotiations difficult. At the same time, Hopi and Navajo tribes were squabbling over land rights while Navajo livestock continuously grazed on Hopi land. Boyden took advantage of this situation, presenting it to the House Subcommittee on Indian Affairs claiming that if the government did not step in and do something, a bloody war would ensue between the tribes. Congressmen agreed to pass the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974 which forced any Hopi and Navajo people living on the other's land to relocate. This affected 6,000 Navajo people and ultimately benefitted coal companies the most who could now more easily access the disputed land. Instead of using military violence to deal with those who refused to move, the government passed what became known as the Bennett Freeze to encourage the people to leave. The Bennett Freeze banned 1.5 million acres of Navajo land from any type of development, including paving roadways and even roof repair. This was meant to be a temporary incentive to push tribe negotiations but lasted over forty years until 2009 when President Obama lifted the moratorium. Still, the legacy of the Bennett Freeze looms over the region as seen by the nearly third-world conditions on the reservation – seventy-five percent of people do not have access to electricity and housing situations are poor.


Eastern Oklahoma

Much of what is now Oklahoma was considered
Indian Territory The Indian Territory and the Indian Territories are terms that generally described an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
from the 1830s. The tribes in the area attempted to join the union as the native
State of Sequoyah The State of Sequoyah was a proposed state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a d ...
in 1905 as a means of retaining control of their lands, but this was unsuccessful and the lands were merged into Oklahoma with the
Enabling Act An enabling act is a piece of legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating Promulgation is the formal proclamation or the declaration that a new statute, statutory or administrative law is enacte ...
of 1906. This act had been taken to disestablish the reservation in order for the foundation of the state to proceed. In July 2020, the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
ruled in ''
McGirt v. Oklahoma ''McGirt v. Oklahoma'', 591 U.S. ___ (2020), was a landmark United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States ...
'' that the eastern area- about half of the modern state- never lost its status as a native reservation. This includes the city of
Tulsa Tulsa is the second-largest city in the U.S. state, state of Oklahoma and List of United States cities by population, 47th-most populous city in the United States. The population was 413,066 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. It ...

Tulsa
. The area includes lands of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Muscogee and Seminole. Among other effects, the decision potentially overturns convictions of over a thousand cases in the area involving tribe members convicted under state laws. The ruling is based on an 1832 treaty, which the court ruled was still in force, adding that "Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word."


Life and culture

Many Native Americans who live on reservations deal with the federal government through two agencies: the
Bureau of Indian Affairs The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), also known as Indian Affairs (IA), is a United States federal agency within the Department of the Interior The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department of the Fed ...

Bureau of Indian Affairs
and the
Indian Health Service The Indian Health Service (IHS) is an operating division (OPDIV) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level ...
. The standard of living on some reservations is comparable to that in the
developing world A developing country is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, ...
, with problems of infant mortality, low life expectancy, poor nutrition, poverty, and alcohol and drug abuse. The two poorest counties in the United States are
Buffalo County, South Dakota Buffalo County is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William an ...
, home of the
Lower Brule Indian Reservation The Lower Brulé Indian Reservation is an Indian reservation that belongs to the Lower Brulé Lakota people, Lakota Tribe. It is located on the west bank of the Missouri River in Lyman County, South Dakota, Lyman and Stanley County, South Dakota ...
, and
Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota Oglala Lakota County (known as Shannon County until May 2015) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Ed ...
, home of the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota peopl ...
, according to data compiled by the 2000 census. This disparity in living standards can partly be explained by the difficulty that is faced by reservation governments when trying to access federal assistance programs. It is commonly believed that environmentalism and a connectedness to nature are ingrained in the Native American culture. In recent years, cultural historians have set out to reconstruct this notion as what they claim to be a culturally inaccurate romanticism. Others recognize the differences between the attitudes and perspectives that emerge from a comparison of Western European philosophy and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Indigenous peoples, especially when considering natural resource conflicts and management strategies involving multiple parties.


Governance

Because Federally-recognized Native American tribes possess limited
tribal sovereignty 300px, Map of the contiguous United States with reservation lands excluded as of 2003 Tribal sovereignty in the United States is the concept of the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the Uni ...
, they are able to exercise the right of self-governance, including but are not limited to the ability to pass laws, regulate power and energy, create treaties, and hold tribal court hearings. For this reason laws on tribal lands may vary from those of the surrounding area. The laws passed can, for example, permit legal
casinosCasinos may refer to: * Casinos, Valencia Casinos is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national ...
on reservations. The tribal council, not the local government or the
United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Ameri ...
, often has jurisdiction over reservations. Different reservations have different systems of government, which may or may not replicate the forms of government found outside the reservation.


Gambling

In 1979, the Seminole tribe in
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...

Florida
opened a high-stakes
bingo Bingo or B-I-N-G-O may refer to: Art, entertainment, and media Gaming * Bingo, a game using a printed ticket of numbers ** Bingo (British version) Bingo is a game of probability in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are ...
operation on its reservation in Florida. The state attempted to close the operation down but was stopped in the courts. In the 1980s, the case of '' California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians'' established the right of reservations to operate other forms of gambling operations. In 1988, Congress passed the
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (, ''et seq.'') is a 1988 United States federal law The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, which ...
, which recognized the right of Native American tribes to establish gambling and gaming facilities on their reservations as long as the states in which they are located have some form of legalized gambling. Today, many Native American casinos are used as
tourist at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and th ...

tourist
attractions, including as the basis for hotel and conference facilities, to draw visitors and revenue to reservations. Successful gaming operations on some reservations have greatly increased the economic wealth of some tribes, enabling their investment to improve infrastructure, education, and health for their people.


Law enforcement and crime

Serious crime on Indian reservations has historically been required (by the 1885 Major Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. §§1153, 3242, and court decisions) to be investigated by the federal government, usually the
Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Conce ...

Federal Bureau of Investigation
, and prosecuted by
United States Attorney United States attorneys represent the United States federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identit ...
s of the
United States federal judicial district For purposes of the federal judicial system, Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political ent ...
in which the reservation lies. Tribal courts were limited to sentences of one year or less, until on 29 July 2010, the Tribal Law and Order Act was enacted which in some measure reforms the system permitting tribal courts to impose sentences of up to three years provided proceedings are recorded and additional rights are extended to defendants. The Justice Department on 11 January 2010, initiated the Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative which recognizes problems with law enforcement on Indian reservations and assigns top priority to solving existing problems.
The Department of Justice recognizes the unique legal relationship that the United States has with federally recognized tribes. As one aspect of this relationship, in much of Indian Country, the Justice Department alone has the authority to seek a conviction that carries an appropriate potential sentence when a serious crime has been committed. Our role as the primary prosecutor of serious crimes makes our responsibility to citizens in Indian Country unique and mandatory. Accordingly, public safety in tribal communities is a top priority for the Department of Justice.
Emphasis was placed on improving prosecution of crimes involving domestic violence and sexual assault.
Passed in 1953, Public Law 280 (PL 280) gave jurisdiction over criminal offenses involving Indians in Indian Country to certain States and allowed other States to assume jurisdiction. Subsequent legislation allowed States to retrocede jurisdiction, which has occurred in some areas. Some PL 280 reservations have experienced jurisdictional confusion, tribal discontent, and litigation, compounded by the lack of data on crime rates and law enforcement response.
As of 2012, a high incidence of rape continued to impact Native American women.


Violence and substance abuse

A survey of death certificates over a four-year period showed that deaths among Indians due to alcohol are about four times as common as in the general U.S. population and are often due to traffic collisions and liver disease with homicide, suicide, and Falling (accident), falls also contributing. Deaths due to alcohol among American Indians are more common in men and among Northern Plains Indians. Alaska Natives showed the least incidence of death. Under federal law, alcohol sales are prohibited on Indian reservations unless the tribal councils allow it. Gang violence has become a major social problem. A December 13, 2009, article in ''The New York Times'' about growing Gangs in the United States, gang violence on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota peopl ...
estimated that there were 39 gangs with 5,000 members on that reservation alone. As opposed to traditional "Most Wanted" lists, Native Americans are often placed on regional Crime Stoppers lists offering rewards for their whereabouts.


See also

*Hawaiian home land *Indian Claims Commission *Indian colony *Indian country *List of historical Indian reservations in the United States *List of Indian reservations in the United States *Native American reservation politics *Reservation poverty *Native American tribes in Nebraska#Reservations, Reservations in Nebraska Outside the U.S.: *Ranchería *Rancherie (term used in British Columbia) *Indigenous Protected Area in Australia *Native Community Lands in Bolivia *Indigenous territory (Brazil) *Indian reserve in Canada *Indigenous territory (Colombia) *Indigenous territories of Costa Rica *Autonomous administrative divisions of India *Indigenous Area (Taiwan)


References

Notes Further reading *J. P. Allen and E. Turner, ''Changing Faces, Changing Places: Mapping Southern Californians'' (Northridge, CA: The Center for Geographical Studies, California State University, Northridge, 2002). *George Pierre Castle and Robert L. Bee, eds., ''State and Reservation: New Perspectives on Federal Indian Policy'' (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992) *Richmond L. Clow and Imre Sutton, eds., ''Trusteeship in Change: Toward Tribal Autonomy in Resource Management'' (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2001). *Wade Davies and Richmond L. Clow, ''American Indian Sovereignty and Law: An Annotated Bibliography'' (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009). *T. J. Ferguson and E. Richard Hart, ''A Zuni Atlas'' (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985) *David H. Getches, Charles F. Wilkinson, and Robert A. Williams, ''Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law'', 4th ed. (St. Paul: West Group, 1998). *Klaus Frantz, "Indian Reservations in the United States", Geography Research Paper 241 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999). *James M. Goodman, ''The Navajo Atlas: Environments, Resources, People, and History of the Diné Bikeyah'' (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982). *J. P. Kinney, ''A Continent Lost: A Civilization Won: Indian Land Tenure in America'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1937) *Francis Paul Prucha, ''Atlas of American Indian Affairs'' (Norman: University of Nebraska Press, 1990). *C. C. Royce, comp., ''Indian Land Cessions in the United States'', 18th Annual Report, 1896–97, pt. 2 (Wash., D. C.: Bureau of American Ethnology; GPO 1899) *Imre Sutton, "Cartographic Review of Indian Land Tenure and Territoriality: A Schematic Approach", ''American Indian Culture and Research Journal'', 26:2 (2002): 63–113. *Imre Sutton, ''Indian Land Tenure: Bibliographical Essays and a Guide to the Literature'' (NY: Clearwater Publ. 1975). *Imre Sutton, ed., "The Political Geography of Indian Country", ''American Indian Culture and Resource Journal'', 15()2):1–169 (1991). *Imre Sutton, "Sovereign States and the Changing Definition of the Indian Reservation", ''Geographical Review'', 66:3 (1976): 281–295. *Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, ed., ''Tiller's Guide to Indian Country: Economic Profiles of American Indian Reservations'' (Albuquerque: BowArrow Pub., 1996/2005) *David J. Wishart and Oliver Froehling, "Land Ownership, Population and Jurisdiction: the Case of the 'Devils Lake Sioux Tribe v. North Dakota Public Service Commission'," ''American Indian Culture and Research Journal'', 20(2): 33–58 (1996). *Laura Woodward-Ney, ''Mapping Identity: The Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation, 1803–1902'' (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2004)


External links


BIA full-size Indian reservations in the continental United States
– National Park Service


Chapter 5: American Indian and Alaska Native Areas
U.S. Census Bureau, Geographic Areas Reference manual (PDF)
Tribal Leaders Directory




April 2004 ''Christian Science Monitor'' article with links to other Monitor articles on the topic
Henry Red Cloud of Oglala Lakota Tribe on the Recession's Toll on Reservations
video report by ''Democracy Now!''
Tribal Justice & Safety. at the U.S. Department of Justice"Public Law 280 and Law Enforcement in Indian Country – Research Priorities"
{{Authority control American Indian reservations, Native American topics Aboriginal title in the United States Native American history Native American culture Types of administrative division History of racial segregation in the United States Political divisions of the United States United States Bureau of Indian Affairs Western (genre) staples and terminology th:เขตสงวนอินเดียน